YESTERDAY’S NEWS: DOWNDRAFT BLOWS ‘EM AWAY
Three-year-old Downdraft hadn’t shown a great deal in her brief, three-race career prior to yesterday’s seventh at Laurel Park: her best finish in three career tries had been a third-place finish.
But it all came together yesterday in a maiden special weight contest, and Downdraft left the maiden ranks in a big way.
The Chuck Lawrence-trained daughter of Warrior’s Reward, sent off at 6-1, stalked the pace from third while three wide on both turns. Under Angel Cruz, she moved to command entering the lane and drew away nicely to win by nine lengths in 1:47.86 for about 1 1/16 miles, earning a Beyer speed figure of 74.
Espresso Time, a $1 million auction purchase as a yearling, held second while no match for the winner, and it was a length back to She’s Lovely in third.
Downdraft now has a win and a third from four career starts. The three-year-old filly has earned $27,400.
- In the day’s feature at Laurel Park, a $47,000 allowance turf sprint for distaffers, Forest Funds overcame a challenging trip to win by a nose over game longshot Rocky Policy. Forest Funds, under Trevor McCarthy, paid $7.40 to win as the second-favorite in the nine-horse field.
- Three trainers won two each at Parx Racing on Sunday. Howard Brown, Jr., Marcos Zulueta, and Patricia Farro all doubled up on the day. On a day when all nine races were claiming events, Brown scored with Ramsey Branch in the first and favored Gypsy Fire in the fifth, while Farro’s winners were 2-5 Bridget Moloney in the fourth and Cuadrante, also 2-5, in the eighth. Zulueta won with Finishing a Dream in the second and also took the day’s only maiden event, with Lucky Greatness, in the nightcap.
LOOKING AHEAD: TODAY’S RACING
- Eighth Wonder (5-2) was ultra-impressive as a two-year-old but hasn’t raced since winning the restricted Donna Freyer Stakes at Parx Racing last November. She’s the lukewarm favorite in today’s eighth at Parx, a $52,000 allowance/optional claimer. The Dee Curry trainee did absolutely everything right as a first-year, winning all three of her starts by a combined 22 lengths and earning $126,000 in the process. The Pioneerof the Nile filly shows three works in preparation for her return in this six furlong test. Among the rivals she’ll have to contend with are She’s Hot Wired (8-1), a New Jersey-bred who has earned over $236,000 and was recently third against similar at Laurel; and hard-hitting seven-time winner Monaguska (7-2).
- Another runner returning from a lengthy layoff gets the nods as favorite in the one-mile version of the same race in the seventh at Parx. Jar of Hearts (8-5) won three times in 2015 — in three of her last four races — and earned nearly $120,000. But the Patricia Farro trainee has been away since finishing seventh on November 30. Her top rivals include Pennsylvania-bred Superling (5-2), who’s finished first and second in her last two; and Rare Medal (9-2), who is winless in three tries this season.